The Power of “Showing” Online

11th September 2017 / 4 minute read


The power of showing is a great power. Some would say it’s as powerful as Magneto’s ability from The X-Men but in the digital world.

Not only is the power of showing essential in web design and digital marketing, but it’s significant in many creative forms. Whether you’re creating an effective piece of advertisement or coming up with a new social media direction, “showing” your ideas to your audience is the key. You can “show” in more ways than one.

Visual communication

You will have read many articles and blogs about the visual aspects of web design and marketing. And it’s true, visual context is the norm of all things design. Without the assistance of visuals, people become bored. What we like as people is attraction, and with bulks of content, you will struggle to, firstly, attract your user, and secondly, engage with them.

As a digital marketing and user experience agency, we embrace visual communication on a daily basis. It’s the foundation of our work. It allows you to communicate in more detail without the hefty word count to accompany it.

As an example of the positive effect of visual communication, take a look at our infographic below (everyone loves an infographic!) and see the difference between communicating with visuals and content.

visual infographic

How would you rather learn?

Learning through visuals is highly effective. Whether you’re learning to cook or skateboard, through visuals and minimal wording, you can learn a great deal more in far less time.

For a first time cook or skateboarder, they will want to see the result from following a step, and whether they have completed it correctly. Not only does it better help teach people, but it looks much more appealing. Just look at the written instructions on the graphics above compared to the image instruction, which one did you notice first? And how would you prefer to learn?

Show, don’t tell in all creative forms

“Show” in writing

Although you can show and not tell with the help of imagery, you should adopt it in your writing too. Authors are constantly having to ‘show’ and not tell in their writing. Although it’s not entirely the same, it still counts and could help you to write less yet express more.

I’m an avid writer in my spare time, and the aim for me is to say as little as I can to allow the reader to see exactly what I’m insinuating for themselves.

It’s the same for advertisement and digital marketing. If you want to have an effect on your audience, then you need to give them enough information to make the connections by themselves. You will see a much better response from your audience simply through not giving them absolutely every bit of detail. Your audience will enjoy using their imagination.

People are perceptive, so don’t be afraid of being ambiguous with your ideas.

“Show” in digital design

People respond better to crisp, clear and uncomplicated designs in the digital world. With the combination of minimal content and quality imagery, you can create the same meaning as writing thousands of words.

In the digital world, less is more. If you can write less to say more, and accompany it with suitable and appealing images, graphics or infographics, then you will hit the spot with your audience.

Do you have a visual marketing strategy? 

If visual marketing is a new strategy for you, then it’s definitely worth taking a look at our previous blog, ‘What is a Visual Marketing Strategy and Should You Have One? It will help you to change the way you are interacting with your customers online.

If you do have a visual marketing strategy, then what is your killer visual marketing approach?

What's up next?